Last Friday the NHS Bill led by Labour MP Clive Efford was passed in the House of Commons with the support of Labour MPs. Gordon Henderson was absent for the vote. It is now important it moves swiftly to the Committee stage but already the Conservatives are trying to delay the Bill. Labour are determined to take the Bill forward and not let it fall.
On Monday the NHS went out on strike over pay, it was the first in England since Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister and for the first time in their 133 year history, the Royal College of Midwives also joined the strike.
Nurses, midwives and other NHS staff who took direct action to protest about their wages on Monday have the full support of Sittingbourne and Sheppey Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate Guy Nicholson.
Guy Nicholson says; “For four hours on a Monday morning a dignified and just protest took place, a protest that was sensitive to patient needs by maintaining acute and emergency cover.
The demand was and is straightforward – that the Secretary of State comes to the table to discuss how the fall in the value of wages can be reversed. This Government has presided over a 15% reduction in the value of wages across the NHS, it has undervalued and undermined the people who are there to care for us day on day.”
The response from Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, shows that the Tory-led Government has no intention of coming to the table, and Gordon Henderson seems ambivalent about the future of the NHS.
Neither the Conservatives nor UKIP talk about decent living wages and both seem determined to further expose the NHS to market forces. Labour has a plan to help those on low pay and rescue the NHS from Tory mismanagement.